How to Make a Bear Bait Barrel

Making a bear bait barrel isn’t difficult. I’m using an old plastic barrel the girls had for barrel racing their horses and pony. Steve cut a hole in it with the chainsaw. The size of the hole isn’t particularly important to me. I’ve seen large holes bears can stick their heads into and small holes they have to reach into with a paw. One doesn’t seem to work any better than the other.

bear bait barrel, how to makeThe hole should be large enough for a bear to reach in and grab bait.

You need two holes in the back of the barrel. I watched two seven and a half month old cubs work together to turn a barrel on its side so they could get in easily. It took them less than 60 seconds to accomplish the job so we place the holes at the top third of the bear bait barrel. The barrel should be chained or otherwise attached to and anchor the bears can’t drag away such as large trees or stumps. Run the chain through the holes, around your anchor and secure the chain tightly using a padlock.

bear bait barrel, logs

Securing Your Bear Bait Barrel

We chain our bear bait barrel to tall stumps or strong trees to keep the bears from rolling them away. Keep the chain tight enough to keep it from moving away from the tree. If you use a five gallon bucket as a bait barrel you can drill holes on two sides and run the chain through the bucket. Don’t reply on the handle, it’ll make the raccoons laugh as they roll your bucket into the woods.

Bears will approach the barrel, sniff around, and then take time pulling the logs out. Logs give extra time to assess the bear. Is it a shooter? Is it a sow with cubs that will come tumbling in behind her? When my adrenaline rush settles in two minutes will the bear really be as big as it seemed when it first cautiously approached the barrel? Judge the size of the bear compared to the size of the barrel.